SANTA BARBARA, CA — June 15, 2006
—Green Hills Software, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free real-time operating systems, confirmed today that Express Logic has demanded arbitration of its ThreadX reseller agreement with Green Hills Software. In the demand, Express Logic accuses Green Hills Software of illegally copying the ThreadX Application Programming Interface (API) in Green Hills Software’s µ-velOSity API.
“These accusations are particularly hypocritical in light of Express Logic’s exact copying of its competitors’ APIs,” commented Dan O’Dowd, founder and CEO of Green Hills Software. In March of 2000, Express Logic announced an ”Evacuation Kit™ for pSOS Users” and in March of 2002, Express Logic announced “Evacuation Kits™ for Nucleus PLUS™ and VRTX® Users.” “These Express Logic products extend the ThreadX API to include competitors’ APIs with identical function names, parameter lists, and defined constants,” continued O’Dowd.
“We did not copy ThreadX,” said David Kleidermacher, CTO of Green Hills Software. “We developed µ-velOSity entirely on our own. In fact, a decade of technology leadership and innovation in real-time operating systems enabled us to make µ-velOSity significantly smaller, faster and easier to use than ThreadX,” added Kleidermacher.
Express Logic claims that the µ-velOSity APIs are similar to ThreadX APIs, but dozens of other small-footprint operating systems also have APIs that are very similar to ThreadX and µ-velOSity. It is perfectly legal to have similar APIs.
Express Logic acknowledges that the ThreadX API is not confidential, but claims that it is protected by copyright. However, it is well established that copyright does not protect a software product’s method of operation, which includes its API. It is legal to copy the publicly available API of a product to implement a competing product with the same (or similar) API.
Express Logic also makes wild accusations that Green Hills Software used Express Logic’s confidential information in the development and promotion of µ-velOSity. “This is not true, and we can prove it. Our µ-velOSity team is isolated from all Express Logic confidential information,” added O’Dowd.
Prior to the development of µ-velOSity, Express Logic sent Green Hills Software a letter leveling numerous absurd legal accusations regarding our ThreadX reseller agreement. “At that time we had no choice but to develop a replacement for ThreadX in our product line. Given this climate of litigation we took every precaution in the development of µ-velOSity to ensure that we could not be accused of any impropriety,” commented O’Dowd. “We are extremely sensitive to legal issues having been involved in (and won) four major lawsuits with competitors over the last 20 years.”
In an interview with EE Times, John Carbone, vice president of marketing at Express Logic, is quoted as saying that Express Logic is pursuing an injunction against µ-velOSity in order to “stop the bleeding.” “I believe this is a desperate, last ditch effort by Express Logic to prevent a superior product from competing in the market. This lawsuit will have no affect on µ-velOSity,” said O’Dowd. “This is the dumbest lawsuit I’ve ever seen.”About Green Hills Software
Founded in 1982, Green Hills Software, Inc. is the technology leader in device software optimization (DSO) and real-time operating systems (RTOS) for 32- and 64-bit embedded systems. Our royalty-free INTEGRITY® RTOS, velOSity™ kernel, µ-velOSity™ microkernel, compilers, MULTI® and AdaMULTI™ integrated development environments and TimeMachine™ debugger offer a complete development solution that addresses both deeply embedded and high-reliability applications. Green Hills Software is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, with European headquarters in the United Kingdom. Visit Green Hills Software on the web at www.ghs.com